Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Freddie Fights Back

by Tanta on 8/05/2008 01:45:00 PM

And I give Freddie extra points for not writing the kind of puling corporate-robot-speak PR most companies do in this situation. This is what we call "frank":

Charles Duhigg's story ("At Freddie Mac, Chief Discarded Warning Signs," August 5) fell far short of the standards New York Times readers have every right to expect from the paper. Given the consequence of the subject, readers deserved more than a superficial tale spun on the purported comments of a collection of anonymous former employees and unspecified "others" – likely including the well-worn band of ideologues and self-interested detractors who have opposed the GSE model for years.

Readers deserve more. The story is apparently based on the word of David Andrukonis, a former employee who was involuntarily terminated in 2005. It describes a memorandum – one we can't confirm the existence of, one we don't believe Mr. Syron ever saw, and one that Mr. Duhigg never produced for us. Although the reporter was aware of these facts, he cited the individual's account without mentioning them, instead portraying the former employee as having left amicably to become a schoolteacher.

Readers also deserve more than a highly selective cherry-picking of quotes from extensive interviews and information the reporter received over several hours and weeks, including interviews with Mr. Syron. . . .
There is much more.

(Hat tip to bacon dreamz, Lord of the Commenters Who Never Gets Enough Credit)